At its core, being an advocate for PPS’ legislative priorities means communicating with your Member of Congress asking for him or her to cosponsor or vote for a bill that responds to the needs of private practice physical therapists and the patients you serve.  As PPS Key Contacts, you are assigned a Member of Congress to whom you hope to become the face of physical therapy and a trusted touchstone on which legislation proposed would be favorable to private practice physical therapists.  This month we have made great progress in getting legislation reintroduced.

Exempting Physical Therapists from the In-Office Ancillary Services Exception (IOASE)
As a member of the Alliance for Integrity in Medicine (AIM) Coalition (made up of APTA, PPS, American Clinical Laboratory Association, Association for Quality Imaging, American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Society for Clinical Pathology, College of American Pathologists, and Radiology Business Management Association), PPS signed a letter of support written for Rep. Jacky Speier’s (D-CA) bill to remove physical therapists from the In-Office Ancillary Services Exception (IOASE).  Reps. Speier and Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced H.R. 2143, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act on April 9th.  This bill has only been introduced in the House of Representatives.  A one-pager is available on the PPS advocacy page.

Advocacy Opportunity 1:
Please call or email your Representative (and their healthcare policy staff) to ask your legislator to cosponsor H.R. 2143, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act.

Use the following talking points:

  • The “in-office ancillary services exception” (IOASE) to the Stark Law was originally created to allow physicians to render non-complex services like x-rays and simple blood tests in their offices during the same patient office visit. 
  • The exception was never intended to include physical therapy and other services rarely provided or completed at the time of the patient’s initial office visit. 
  • Cosponsor H.R.2143 to ensure that incentives driving medical decisions are based solely on patients’ best interests, while reducing unnecessary and inappropriate services and costs to Medicare.

Supporting the Physical Therapist Workforce in Underserved Areas
On April 1st, Senators Tester (D-MT), Wicker (R-MS), and King (I-ME) reintroduced their perennial, bipartisan bill, the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (S.970) to add physical therapists to the list of providers eligible to participate in the National Health Service Corps.  Reps. DeGette (D-CO) and Shimkus (R-IL) are planning to introduce the House companion bill soon.  The language is largely the same as years past except for adding a hook that specifically mentions that physical therapists could provide non-pharmacological intervention for pain in order to prevent opioid abuse or to help those who are already struggling with addiction to opioids.  An action alert was issued on Monday April 8th, and a one-pager has been posted on the PPS advocacy page.

Advocacy Opportunity 2:
Please call or email your Senators (and their healthcare policy staff) to ask for the Senator to cosponsor the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (S.970) to add physical therapists to the list of providers eligible to participate in the National Health Service Corps.

Use the following talking points:

  • Adding physical therapists to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will increase access to PT care and rehabilitation in underserved communities across America.
  • Cosponsor S.970 in order to improve access to nonpharmacological options for the prevention, treatment, and management of pain.
  • This bipartisan effort could improve lives of those in pain while also encouraging PTs to practice in rural and underserved areas.

In addition to engaging with Members of Congress in the D.C. offices, remember that in-district advocacy is also very effective.  Check out the new “Nuts and Bolts of In-District Advocacy” document on the PPS advocacy page for ideas for how to make the most of these types of opportunities. 

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 

For information on PPS’s legislative priorities and activities,

visit the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org

 
 

Leave a Comment

 
 

Recent Posts